Floating on the Bottom
A Word or Two on King of Spain King of Spain originated in 1994, in Jacksonville, Florida. Formerly called the Rayburns, the band achieved local recognition with the self-release of their seven inch single titled 'Joneser 7/Never Eventually'. They were hailed as 'ahead of their time' (John Citrone of Folio Weekly) and were called 'one of the best new projects to come out of Jacksonville in quite awhile.' (Daniel Gill). Their textured sound has been compared to the Velvet Underground, Television, and old Moby Grape outtakes. The band kept them selves busy after the release by headlining their own shows from Florida to North Carolina and opening for touring bands such as Poster Children and the Grifters. In November of 1996, band members Ben Kihnel (guitar, vocals), Sean Bartley (bass, keyboards), Tim Snyder (drums, percussion) and Rayburn Edwards (guitar), entered the studio to begin recording a full length record. After the course of the next eight months with the engineering help of Pete Thornton, who recorded their previous release, the band emerged from Jazzmin Studios in Jacksonville, with tracks for the full length album 'Floating on the Bottom'. King of Spain mixed the new album the summer of 1997 at Tree Studios in Atlanta, Ga., and Rodney Mills (co founder of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and engineer for Lynyrd Skynyrd) then mastered it. The album was finished and released in fall, 1997. The debut CD was described as 'a crystal rendering of nicely crafted alt-pop jams.' (John Citrone, Folio Weekly), and Dennis Crupi of Moses McCartney called the collection of 12 songs, 'well written, well performed... laced with rich swirling guitars, confident vocals, and a solid rhythm section, this record bulges with inspiration.' With the departure of guitarist Rayburn Edwards, the band was faced with the challenge of continuing on as a three-piece, and through the process their powerful rhythmical sound became tighter, and more focused. They toured throughout Florida playing with bands such as Idaho, Jennyanykind, The Mayflies U\.S\.a., and Orange Park, and at other East Coast venues like the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, and at Meow Mix and Coney Island in NYC. King of Spain relocated to Portland, Oregon in September 1999. After acclimating themselves with the local scene, the self proclaimed Florigonians have been focusing extensively on songwriting and production, and playing live. Guitarist Frank Freeman joined the line up in January of 2001. With Frank has come a fresh perspective, new material, and a dark groove which infiltrates the sound. The band has tracks for a new album, ready to record, which they believe is their most polished yet still hard driving work to date. The performances are balanced by a gracious stage presence, and music which draws you first into the rich, full rhythms, second into the melody which works on two levels simultaneously, and then into vocals both powerful and eloquent. King of Spain has turned another corner, and we have yet to see what will hit us.